New study finds nearly half of Canadians will be working past 65

Workers are conflicted about their retirement prospects Nearly half of Canadians expect to work past age 65 for ‘lifestyle reasons’, while about the same number site financial reasons

Toronto (28 January 2009) – According to the country’s first ever “Unretirement Index” released today by Sun Life Financial, many Canadians now expect to work longer for positive reasons, such as remaining mentally active and enjoyment of career, but they are also concerned about their financial readiness for retirement. These findings signal a departure from how Canadians have been retiring in the last few years and will have important implications for families, employers and society.

“Despite many Canadians expecting to work after age 65, those surveyed are approaching this reality with resolve,” said Dean Connor, President, Sun Life Financial Canada. “Interestingly, in pinpointing their primary reason for working past age 65, as many people singled out lifestyle reasons as those who indicated financial reasons.”

  • Nearly half of working Canadians believe they will be working past the traditional retirement age of 65. This is in sharp contrast to the average Canadian retirement age of 61 in recent years.
  • Nearly all of those who expect to work beyond age 65 cite one or more lifestyle reasons, including remaining mentally active, enjoyment of their jobs and the interaction with their co-workers.

“Many Canadians are not as clear about what it will take for them to reach a comfortable level of retirement income,” said Connor. “Only 28 percent of people are very confident they will have enough money to enjoy their desired lifestyle in retirement. Not surprisingly, Canadians who use a financial advisor to help them plan for retirement feel much more confident when it comes to their future.”

In terms of what Canadians are doing to prepare their finances for retirement, just 22 per cent expressed full satisfaction with their level of personal savings, or with how their income is growing. Over the past 12 months, less than half of Canadians have calculated whether their retirement income will last long enough (44 percent) or calculated how much income they’ll need to retire (41 percent).

The survey was based on a sample of 1,226 people working either full- or part-time, which was representative of the Canadian working population between the ages of 30 and 65. The sample was also representative in terms of gender and region census break. Age groups were divided by workers in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60+ and by three ranges of total assets, not including the net worth of the person’s place of residence. The sample has a margin of error of 2.9 per cent at the 95 per cent confidence interval.


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